Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Warning to Warriors

Been reading an excellent book by Max Hastings called Warriors. I am becoming more and more convinced that our culture is less and less comfortable with strong leaders who fight by conviction and principle. Enjoy some of his quotes:

"Warriors are unfashionable people in democratic societies during
periods of peace ... [But] in times of war, fighting men are suddenly
cherished and become celebrities

“In civil life, people with a penchant for fighting are deemed at best
an embarrassment, at worst a menace.”

Every army, in order to prevail on the battlefield, needs a certain
number of people capable of courage, initiative or leadership beyond the

A greek or roman soldier was required to engage in hours of close
quarter combat with edged weapons capable of hacking through flesh.

Part of the nobility of the warriors calling stems from in part from his
acceptance of the risk of losing his own life while taking those of others

In every society on earth, the most durable convention, from ancient
times until very recently, has held physical courage to be the highest
human attribute. For thousands of years, in nations dominated by the
warrior ethic, this quality was valued more highly than intellectual
achievement or moral worth.

Many acts of heroism have been committed in the active hope of
advancement or glory.

Eager warriors are generally disliked and mistrusted by those of a more
commonplace disposition.

Many celebrated warriors are detested by their contemporaries.

All armies need a handful of soldiers who possess an extravagant warrior
spirit to fight alongside a majority of other soldiers who threaten the
success of such army by their eagerness to preserve their own lives.

Successful warriors are often vain and uncultured- but their nations in
hours of need have had cause to be profoundly grateful for their
virtues, even if they have sometimes been injured by their excesses. For
all their social limitations and professional follies, the warrior is
willing to risk everything on the field of battle, and sometimes to lose
it, for purposes sometimes selfish or mistaken, but often noble."

If you are a man's man and have grown up fighting for what you get- look out- this culture will not accept you with great comfort.

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